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PS3 Shooter Showdown: Single-Player |

With several recent shooter releases, there is actually a decent selection worthy of doing a showdown.

These are listed from worst to best. Agree? Disagree? Speak up in the comments…


Summary: Endlessly repeating offices and warehouses. A real bore.

I expected a great shooter with some technical porting problems. I got the exact opposite: the port was perfectly adequate (I tried the PC demo as well as the PS3 game) but the game itself was terrible.

All games have repetition, but this was really excessive and stale. Even the scary scripted scenes were repetitive. This developer is known for very creative original titles. NOLF2 and Tron are two of my favorites. But this just falls flat.

The Darkness

Summary: An average flashy and forgettable shooter. Great graphics, lots of extras, and stylish presentation and effects. But the story and pacing really dulled my experience with the game.

I could imagine potentially loving this kind of dark style and writing when I was younger. However, today, it just seems hackneyed and junky. The graphics and effects are still top notch, but overall, this was merely average.

I read the Darkness comics. While the art was fantastic and the writing had some cool parts, overall the comics were mediocre. Unfortunately, the video game is worse. The comics were more about epic supernatural struggles between mystical sects, while the game pretty much skipped all that and was just about killing gangsters and cops in NYC.

Rainbow Six: Vegas

Summary: Great, solid tactical shooter. While the multi-player is great, the single player was merely good. It does what it does very well, but has a somewhat narrow focus.

This game improves on the tactical shooter genre with better graphics and a variety of improvements. It’s nothing ground-breakingly new, but it’s well done for it’s type of game. This can be a little slow paced compared to other shooters, but it’s fun. As a single-player game: good but not great.

Half-Life 2

(Not yet on PS3. Impressions from PC version)

Summary: Great but dated shooter. Lots of great innovations for it’s time, huge length and variety, but also many flawed pieces (vehicles, story, uneven level design). Overall, it’s a great title and was a notable technical achievement for its time, but nothing grounbreakingly original.

This game definitely gives you value. This is a long game with lots of content. However, the quality is mixed. There are some very creative levels that are exciting to play through, but there is also some long dull levels and boring puzzles. This game sets you up for some really spectacular gunfights but other parts, such as the drivable vehicles, feel very unpolished.

One other piece I didn’t like is the story. Most shooters have this type of junk sci-fi plot with common cliches and terrible dialog. However, it’s usually easy to simply ignore the narrative and enjoy the exploration and action. However, this game makes you sit through frequent scripted NPC dialog scenes. Listening to the cute girl in jeans lecture about her father or the old scientist go on and on about some space machine mumbo-jumbo is horribly boring and completely disconnected from the game play.

Resistance: Fall Of Man

Summary: The current king of the hill. Definitely my favorite single-player shooter. In a way, this is like a “Best Of” game that incorporates the best elements from other shooters, but Resistance improves on all of them and provides a huge variety of game play. Very easy to play through. Every aspect is very well polished throughout the whole experience. Overall, there is nothing fundamentally groundbreaking here, but it has lots of touches of innovation, and this perfects a wide range of gameplay elements.

What I really like about this game is just the overall level of polish and variety throughout the game. The first level is plain, which I assume is intentional to allow novices a chance to get accustomed to the controls. However, all the other levels are very well designed, well paced, they set you up for very exciting action scenes, and are very fun to play. Some other highlights:

  • Enemies: Every enemy has some really cool scripted moves that cause some great “wow” moments. I actually jumped out of my seat the first time I was biten by a zombie. Or the insect-like enemies will sometimes swarm in large numbers and scurry across walls and ceilings. That’s not an original concept, but I’ve never seen it done so well or to such dramatic effect as it’s done here.
  • Sound: The use of surround sound in this game seemed much better than most. Also, this game supports true 7.1 PCM audio if you have an HDMI audio receiver.
  • Glass Shattering: Very cool! Also, the spikey hedgehog spike grenades detonate very realistically. Small touches like these definitely add up.
  • Vehicles: I’ve never seen vehicles this polished in a shooter. However, the vehicle portions are more of a fun diversion than a core part of the game.
  • Story: I usually hate stories in shooters. Every other game that I mentioned had a terrible story and terrible dialog. Resistance has a generic story, but at lea0st it’s not painfully bad, which is a huge improvement. I still skipped over all the collectible story notes you find. However, the cut scenes between levels were actually mildly amusing diversions rather than annoying interruptions.


Resistance has easily held on to the crown. However, with so many big titles in this genre coming later this year, I suspect that will change…

  • ShockFly

    I own Resistance: Fall of Man. But since this is the first time I ever played a shooter on a console, I need a lot of time to get used to the joystick feel. Every minute I’ve played so far has been a pain in the ass and wanting me to have a keyboard and mouse. That’s because I normally only play racing, fighting and sports games on a console. So this is new for me. I do have to agree with you on the visual side, it’s just awesome.

    Call of Duty 4 and Killzone 2 are probably the better games for this year and/or the beginning of 2008.

  • Sporty

    I used to be just like you when it can to controls ShockFly. KB/M was the only way to go. Still is the best way. But after a play through of Metriod Prime and Resistance a few times I can now handle a controller without wanting to give up.

    I’ll never prefer it though. I became a flick aimer on the PC so controllers will always feel sloppy

  • Sporty

    But since I completely ignored the article and only commented on a comment last time I’ll try addressing it now.

    I Think COD3 should be listed and higher then F.E.A.R.

    I’m currently playing FEAR on my 360. Pretty average, nothing special. Haven’t tried Vegas yet but plan too. Also HL2 has more gameplay them a lot of average games. I played it on the PC only though. I’ll probably either just get EP2 on PC or go for Orange Box on PS3 if reviews are good.

    I am looking forward to Haze, COD4 this year and KZ2 next year. Tempted to get UT3 on PS3 now that KB/M controlls are confirmed

  • Darrin

    I left COD3 off because I didn’t play. I loved COD1, but after playing the expansion and COD2 I was tired of the formula and passed on COD3. COD4 definitely looks different and worth getting. There is a flood, of other high quality shooters coming soon: Bioshock, Haze, UT3, Mercs 2, and KZ2.

  • Resistance better than Half Life 2? Are you sure? Really? Maybe I disagree because Half Life 2 is my favourite shooter (except maybe Halo but let’s not talk about that here) or maybe it’s because I loved HL2’s scripted NPC conversations because they mad me feel more like I was the lead character or maybe it’s because I didn’t appreciate the storyline of Resistance at all. I hated every bit of the story especially the way they shamelessly used an American lead character so they didn’t alienate the people that won’t buy a game if they don’t get to play as an American even thought the game is entirely set in Britain and most of the soldiers around you are British.

    I admire the way that they tried to be a bit different by making a World War II game but with more original enemies and creative weapons (some of the weapons were pretty cool) but I didn’t like the way they blew up my second favourite bridge of all time and I didn’t care for the way that the story was mainly told by a woman that spoke in the most annoying way while it played a slide show of the events that were happening in the story. What was with that lady character anyway? You save her and she helps you but did she een fight with you? I can’t remember but it seems as though they were trying to replicate the relation ship that Gordon Freeman and Alyx have in HL2 except she doesn’t really fight alongside you.

    Maybe I’m just being money here but the only reason I could b bothered to finish the single player campaign of Resistance is because I didn’t do it by myself. I did it in co-op mode. Does that still count? Anyway, now that I look at it, I guess Resistance’s vehicle sequences were kinda cool and HL2 didn’t exactly have the coolest vehicles ever but at the end of the day, it’s all just opinion isn’t it? And no one cares what I say. Just be glad I’m not a fanboy that’s telling you how Halo 3 is gonna totally PWN every single PS3 game including Killzone.

    p.s. If they include keyboard and mouse support, I’d totally buy the Orange Box on PS3 but if not, I’ll probably have to get it on PC. No one’s gonna read all this anyway but it feels good to get it off my chest.

  • Holy sh!t I wrote a lot. I think I need my own blog! Sorry about that.

  • Pc

    The two best shooters out right now for the PS3 are deffinately RFOM and R6V.

  • Pc

    I read all your post and i have to say this…HL 2 was freakin awesome, but so is every game listed really. As far as multiplaer goes though, RFOM takes the cake easily, but here recently i have been playing some R6V and I’m kinda hooked. As far as Halo 3 looking and playing better than Killzone 2 (lol), i doubt it, but only time will tell.

  • With a limited set of FPS available on PS3, The Darkness stands out right after RFOM. The darklings as well as the different capabilities of the main character add to the overall dark athmo of the game. As much as i hated the demo, I really like the game. Can’t do anything wrong and you even get a Flash Gordon episode for free 😉

  • Darrin

    Looks like there is a good variety of opinions here, which is good to see.

    No one is sticking up for F.E.A.R, but all the other titles have fans.

    Comprehensive post Jax: yes, I read the whole thing.

  • Pc

    I said nothing about FEAR simply because i played and beat both FEAR and the expansion pack (extraction point) on my PC. They were both excellent games !! 🙂
    I just so happen to have most of the good PC games that are out right now, but my PS3 gets most of the gaming love now.

  • Sporty

    I wasn’t bashing FEAR. I said it was nothing special but I’m still playing it right now. If it wasn’t that good I wouldn’t continue 😀

    I’m already on my 3rd playthrough of RFOM on the PS3 side.

  • Pc

    Sorry if i made it seem as if i were complaining about your post. I didn’t do that at all, i was just saying that I didn’t say anything about FEAR cuz i played it on PC instead of my PS3. 🙂

  • Wilsones

    How can you possibly think that The Darkness’ plot hackneyed and stale? The writing is superb, the voice acting is some of the best I have EVER heard, and I never found a plot hole or cliched moment. It’s plot is full of twists and had moments that had me completely surprised and shocked. Just killing gangsters and cops? Did you miss supernatural levels that take up half of the game? Did you not notice that you go to areas not at all in NYC? And saying that Half-Life 2’s plot is dull and that “Most shooters have this junk sci-fi plot” is SO misinformed. Did you even watch the scripted moments? Are you one of those people who care only about action, and have no interest in story or character? Saying that the graphics in Resistance are incredible is ludicrous as well. It’s already out-dated. The Darkness looks better, Half-Life 2 has a more interesting visual style, and both games have much better characters. At least in Half-Life 2 the character doesn’t try to sound or look tough.

  • Darrin


    Stories and style are extremely subjective. I’m glad to hear your opinion although we clearly have different tastes.

    I definitely sat through all the HL2 scripting from the very beginning to the very last levels of the game. And I definitely think it was total junk sci-fi. And I definitely think the Darkness writing was terrible as well (the voice acting was decent).

    Resistance had a bland story. Not great or memorable fiction, it was just like pleasant background music which is far better than the boorish stuff in HL2 or Darkness.

    Actually, Bioshock seems like something I would love, but I have yet to play it. It’s heavily influenced by Atlas Shrugged which many people love and many others hate (I love it).

    Graphics technology is typically less subjective. I’m more puzzled why Resistance is so blasted on this front. IMO, Resistance really excelled with the animation. All of the creatures just showed a large diversity of movement. The art style was mixed: some levels were dull while others were extremely well done.